Café De Cuba is a home away from home. In the community hub of Elwood in Victoria, this café has cemented its name as a coffee haven after 10 years in the suburban beachside area.
“This place is what it is – comfortable, homely and non-clinical,” says Café Manager Josh Curwen. “Lots of cafés and restaurants come and go but we’re still standing because we have lots of loyal, regular customers. If we continue to have that and serve consistent and delicious food and coffee, we’ll be here for a long while to come.”
Growing up in the hospitality environment at his parent’s café in Gippsland, Josh came to the city with coffee in his veins.
The suburb of Elwood attracts families, school children and foodies, but the one thing it’s renowned for, Josh says, is its community. “Elwood is like a small country town. It’s a very family-oriented area and lots of mothers’ groups and friends come here to catch-up up over a coffee or have a bite to eat,” says Josh. “The regulars make Café de Cuba what it is; we’re a community-focused café.”
During the weekdays, coffee is Café De Cuba’s main focus, ready to tackle the early morning orders from tradies, tired mothers or beady-eyed workers needing that pick-me-up.
Café De Cuba serves Vittoria’s Ora blend, which Josh describes as “full-bodied, with a nice strength”. “The majority of our customers come here for the coffee,” says Josh. “A good coffee is a good coffee, but what’s essential to a great cup is a good barista – and each of our baristas attract their own following of customers.”
Taking Greek influence from Café Owner of three years, Spiro Theodosia, Café De Cuba has taken Spiro’s European background to create simple yet delicious home-style meals for its customers. Must try items include the pizzas, calamari salad and muffins made fresh each morning.
“I love coming to work everyday. The staff here are fantastic to work with,” says Josh. “We don’t just serve coffee and food, we offer a warm and comfortable experience for anyone to walk in and feel at home.”